History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Last and first buddhists

January 30th, 2014 · No Comments

Haranguing the Mindfulness fad is one thing (and the damage done is real, but the religion is already dead), but the sad reality is that ‘buddhism’ has suffered defeat at the hands of reactionary cooptations of a religion that arose in early Axial India as a ‘revolutionary’ movement. Its destruction in India and exile to Tibet where it descended into fascism is a reminder to buddhists that you don’t really have a religion anymore. The religion may be a problem, as religion, since the task of dharma is always individual, but the fact remains that buddhism was elected to its place in world history in the Axial transformation of its Jain patent, that primordial ur-yoga that gestated its millennia in pre-Aryan India, defeated finally by the neo-Brahmin reaction. The trivialization of Buddhism in the realm of American capitalism is almost irrelevant by comparison. But a buddhist straggler (and buddhism was always about vagrants at the fringes of society) might elect to fight back, and maybe even re-remember the revolutionary origins of the buddhist impulse. Last and First Men is an attempt to create a larger domain of discourse for the historical materialism of the marxists, and suggests an exit strategy for ‘buddhists’ in America discovering the destruction of their religion. I think buddhism will never recover its early energy short of rebirth in the context of a new age, and a path toward social transformation/revolution.

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